Looking for a colorful word to describe brave or courageous action? Try derring-do! Your adventurous cousin's stories of derring-do might include climbing mountains, wrestling alligators, and bungee jumping.

This old-fashioned word is perfect if you want a funny way to talk about slightly reckless feats of bravery. A series of misprints and misunderstandings led to poet Edmund Spenser's interpretation of derrynge do (intended to mean "in daring to do") as a noun meaning "heroism." He used it that way in his epic poem, The Faerie Queene. Sir Walter Scott was the first to use derring-do as one word, in his 1820 novel "Ivanhoe."

Definitions of derring-do

n brave and heroic feats

Type of:
effort, exploit, feat
a notable achievement

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.